Emergence (and some devastation) in Sim City

on Mar 6, 2013
I'll admit. I was one of those kids. I never had the patience to start from scratch in Sim City, to take a humble town to a bustling metropolis, paying constant attention to the state of my citizens and my budget. No, I would eagerly wait through...

Games, numeracy, and uncertainty

on Jan 7, 2013
Take a look at this word problem, quoted from Gerd Gigerenzer's Calculated Risks. Before you read on, try to come up with a ballpark estimate of the answer; what does your gut tell you? The probability that a woman of age 40 has breast cancer is...

Neal Stephenson's REAMDE

on Nov 29, 2012
REAMDE is speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson's latest novel. His previous work has dealt with virtual reality, cryptography, Baroque-era Europe, and more, but REAMDE represents his first explicit foray into video games as a literary topic....

Reality Mining at Cogito

on Oct 31, 2012
Cogito Health is a young technology startup based in Charlestown, MA developing tools for real-time monitoring of customer engagement. Though their way of operationalizing engagement differs in marked ways from the game-centric way we usually...

Refining the flow diagram

on Oct 19, 2012
Last month, I posted on the origins of Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow, but the diagram I focused on there (and that tends to pervade discussion of flow among game designers) is actually a bit dated. Preparing for a reading group on engagement...